Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Lately, every recipe I have posted has been my “favorite of all-time”.  Well, this mac and cheese recipe is no exception.  It is called “Baked Macaroni and Cheese” and is a recipe from the famous Food Network star, Alton Brown.  My husband has complained in the past that my homemade macaroni and cheese is dry and not cheesy enough.  I’ve even curdled the milk and cheese before, so it made the dish grainy.  Well, this recipe is an exception…my husband LOVED Alton Brown’s mac and cheese and did not even mind the crispy panko bread crumb topping (he usually hates breadcrumbs on his macaroni).  He had three servings and loved how saucy, cheesy, and flavorful this was.
Alton Brown is one of my favorite Food Network Chefs.  Since I fell in love with his Vanilla Ice Cream recipe, I thought he might have a good mac and cheese recipe… he sure does!  Alton Brown is scientific in his baking, and knows precisely what the correct ingredients are, the amounts, and how to bring out the best flavors in each dish.  Baked Macaroni and Cheese is a winner, and I definitely recommend trying it!  Enjoy!

 

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Ingredients
  • ½ pound elbow macaroni
  • 6 tbsp butter, divided
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk (I used 2 cups whole milk, and 1 cup skim milk)
  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf (I omitted)
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about 5 minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer 10 minutes and remove bay leaf.
  4. Temper in the egg. Stir in ¾ of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
Source: Alton Brown

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